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8 Sep 2023

Afghanistan: US Govt. subcontractor GardaWorld's Nepali workers experienced 'abrupt' income loss after evacuation, co. did not respond

Other than receiving some compensation for their lost belongings and salary, they never heard from GardaWorld again. Two years later, most are still unemployed.
Jenna Mae Biedscheid, The Diplomat

In August 2023, The Diplomat reported that Nepali security workers employed by US Government subcontractors in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops following the 2021 Taliban takeover experienced labour rights infringements, including low pay ($4 an hour) and long working hours (12-hour shifts). The workers allegedly risked their lives while on shift to guard facilities housing US troops and diplomats.

Workers employed by the US Government subcontractor GardaWorld were also allegedly not informed of the evacuation formally by their supervisors until a few days before they left the country. Many had no idea of the Taliban’s advance. After the evacuation, other than receiving some compensation for lost belongings and salary, the workers stated that they never heard from GardaWorld again. The article alleges their abrupt loss of income caused financial hardship. The article notes that several of the guards interviewed are ‘struggling to pay for housing costs and their children’s education’.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited GardaWorld to respond to the allegations in the article, and to outline what steps the company has taken to remediate the workers following the evacuation. GardaWorld did not respond to the Resource Centre’s request for comment.